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Today’s Top Stories
1. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants the Revolutionary Guards to mass produce missiles. Sleep better tonight . . .
2. Israel is sending anti-terrorism experts to Nigeria to help locate the 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by the Boko Haram. AFP obtained a copy of a Boko Haram video demanding the release of prisoners and showing what was purported to be the schoolgirls wearing full-length hijabs.
3. In an interview with Israeli radio, Newsweek reporter Jeff Stein defended his reports alleging Israeli spying on the US. Meanwhile, former ambassador Michael Oren dismissed as “baseless” the claim that the FBI had scolded Israel, telling the Jerusalem Post that Israelis shouldn’t be overly worried by the fuss over the stories:
He said that he did not foresee any public diplomacy damage as a result of these stories, because while they are front page news in Israel, their resonance in the US was much, much less.
The same, he said, is not true of the “price-tag” attacks.
Not only are they causing civil and moral damage, they are also causing diplomatic damage, which is “all the more reason to stamp them out,” he said.
One of Newsweek’s identified sources was ex-CIA employee Paul Pillar, who has an impressive history of bashing Israel and supporting BDS. Ari Lieberman details Pillar’s prolific pro-Palestinian past. See Ronen Bergman‘s take.
4. Mick Jagger’s False Quote Spreads Through Social Media: Another example of fake news becoming conventional wisdom online for a bigger bang.
5. College Trips to Israel Unethical? Something unethical’s going on at UCLA, but trips to Israel have nothing to do with it.
Israel and the Palestinians
• The Palestinians threatened to halt security cooperation with Israel. Why? That depends on whether you’re inclined to believe Yasser Abed-Rabbo or The Independent‘s skeptical Ben Lynfield:
But Mr Abed Rabbo, in an interview with The Independent at his offices in Ramallah, said that co-ordination was a function of Israeli settlement and other policies, not the new chapter with Hamas.
• The Israel Electric Corp. sued a Palestinian electric company for $154 million in unpaid bills. Haaretz reports the Palestinians owe the IEC an awful lot more:
Including the electricity supplied directly to the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinians owe the IEC an estimated 1.4 billion shekels, which is a serious burden on the IEC’s financial situation. The IEC has warned in the past that it might file suit to collect its unpaid debts, though for now the company has decided to sue only the JDECO, and only for some of the debt . . .
The debt is growing at a estimated 90 million shekels a month, as for years the Palestinians have not collected the full amount they are owed by customers for the electricity.
• Dr. Anat Berko looks at the issue of Palestinian prisoners smuggling sperm out of Israeli prisons.
However, despite the terrorists’ sensation of achievement when their families grow, and their sense of victory at having fooled the Israeli prison authorities, there are those who say that it is nothing more than a cover story or a “respectable” way to solve problems of family honor and hide incest and sexual conduct considered deviant by the patriarchal Palestinian family.
• The Saudis are trying to get Israel kicked out of international soccer.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Worth reading: Aid Can’t Buy Israel’s Silence on Iran Deal
The administration seems to operate on the assumption that keeping the aid dollars flowing to Jerusalem covers a multitude of its sins even to the point of making up for an American push for détente with the vicious anti-Semitic and potentially genocidal regime in Tehran. But though he is wisely doing everything to not rise to Obama’s bait and to keep the daylight between Israel and the United States to a minimum, Netanyahu has to know that a tipping point may soon be coming in the balance between American aid and diplomatic treachery with Iran.
• The IDF declared the Syrian border area a closed military zone as fighting nears Israeli Golan. More at the Jerusalem Post.
• A new Israeli ambassador to Egypt took up his post, marking a modest step forward in ties, reports the Times of Israel. One of Ambassador Haim Koren’s first tasks is to find a place to work. In 2011, a mob ransacked the Israeli embassy; staffers currently work from “an unofficial location.”
(Image of lightbulb via Flickr/remography)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.